QA’s CEO, Paul Geddes

Report recognises the digital skills provider’s “state-of-the-art” facilities, “significant technical knowledge and experience” and “ambitous curriculum”

QA, one of the UK’s largest tech apprenticeship and skills providers, has been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted following its inspection in late January. This is an industry-leading grade amongst private providers of QA’s size.

The skills provider has changed significantly since its last inspection in 2013, amidst substantial reforms across the sector. It is now nine times larger, expanding from supporting just 717 apprentices in 2013 to supporting around 6,500 apprentices today, with a broader range of programmes across nine sites and digital platforms.

Ofsted’s report said QA had created “a well-considered, ambitious curriculum… effectively designed in collaboration with employers, tutors and the learning design team”. It also highlighted that apprentices “benefit from state-of-the-art commercial training facilities” and “value the teaching from credible subject experts”.

QA has made exciting changes over the past seven years to support apprenticeship progression by significantly broadening their programme offering from Level 3 through to degree level. Reflecting this, the report acknowledged that “apprentices make good progress on their apprenticeships. Many go on to achieve merit or distinction grades at the end point assessment and achieve additional qualifications… Most apprentices are ambitious, proud of their success and keen to move on to study at a higher level.”

Ofsted also highlighted the importance of QA’s apprentices’ skills to employers, stating that apprentices “become more confident and proficient at work… and develop new skills that employers value”.

Welcoming the result, QA’s CEO, Paul Geddes said:

“QA has made significant investment in our apprenticeships provision over the last few years. We are proud of the rating we have achieved. A lot has changed across the industry and within QA since we were last inspected and we have worked diligently to maintain a high quality of provision over this time. The feedback from Ofsted highlights a lot of the good work we are doing along with areas that are edging towards Outstanding and we will be working hard to move these firmly into that Outstanding bracket.”

QA has worked closely with UK businesses for 30 years to address skills gaps and provides training to 6,500 apprentices and more than 285,000 learners across the digital and technology sector, business administration and law.

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